In a line edit, Contributors examines every word and every sentence and every paragraph and every section and every chapter and the entirety of your written TextBooks. Typos, wrong words, misspellings, double words, punctuation, run-on sentences, long paragraphs, subheadings, chapter titles, table of contents, author bios—everything is scrutinized, corrected, tracked, and commented on.
Facts are checked, name spellings of people and places are confirmed. This is the type of edit I perform most often.
As Contributor you will likely do the following:
- Conduct heavier fact checking (for example, exact titles of movies in italics, death date of a famous person in history, the protagonist was using an iPhone before they were invented).
- Make suggestions about moving or removing text (or actually doing the task and explaining in a marginal note why).
- Initiate a discussion about why the dreary Introduction could be cut.
- Offer a new scheme for moving a chapter or two around to better accommodate a time line. (Actually doing the moving and writing transitions might fall into the category of developmental edit or left to the author to do.)
- Query the author in a marginal note about why Susan in chapter 2 was wearing a winter coat when the scene takes place in summer. Or whether the author intended for the detective described earlier with a full beard to be scratching his stubble.
- Point out repetition and inconsistencies in the story line. But not rewriting. Actually revise awkward sentences, break up long sentences, streamline sentences with clauses and parentheticals. Recast sentences that begin with There are and It is. Those constructions are simply not strong. That’s why line editing is considered a sentence-level type of edit.
- Substitute stronger words for the commonly overused words (very, pretty, things, great, and good are my pet peeves).